Chemokines in the systemic organization of immunity

Immunol Rev. 2003 Oct;195:58-71. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-065x.2003.00067.x.


Directed cellular migrations underlie immune system organization. Chemokines and their receptors (along with surface-adhesion molecules) are central to these migrations, targeting developing and mature leukocytes to tissues and microenvironments suitable for their differentiation and function. The chemokine CXCL12 and its receptor CXCR4 play a central role in the migration of hematopoietic stem cells, and several chemokine receptors are transiently expressed during distinct stages of B- and T-cell development. In the periphery, mature naïve B and T cells utilize the receptors CCR7, CXCR4, and CXCR5 to recirculate through specialized microenvironments within the secondary lymphoid tissues, while effector and memory lymphocytes express bewildering patterns of adhesion molecules and chemokine receptors that allow them to function within microenvironments and non-lymphoid tissues inaccessible to naïve cells. Here, we summarize the role of chemokines and their receptors in the spatial organization of the immune system and consider the implications for immune function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Movement
  • Chemokines / immunology*
  • Chemokines / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immune System / cytology*
  • Immune System / immunology*
  • Leukocytes / cytology
  • Leukocytes / immunology
  • Leukocytes / metabolism
  • Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Chemokines